Equity of witnesses by dr. zakir naik

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Equity of witnesses by dr. zakir naik

  1. 1. ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION Spreading the Truth of Islam www.irf.net ANSWER TO NON-MUSLIMS’ COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM Authored by: Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik13. EQUALITY OF WITNESSESQuestion:Why are two witnesses who are women, equivalent to only one witnesswho is a man ?Answer:1. Two female witnesses not always considered equal to one malewitnessThere are no less than three verses in the Qur’an which speak about witnesseswithout specifying man or woman.a) While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required aswitnesses. In Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says:“Oh you who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take)witnesses among yourself when making bequests,– two just personsof your own (brotherhood) or others from outside if you are journeyingthrough the earth and the chance of death befalls you.” [Al-Qur’an 5:106]b) Two persons endued with justice in case of talaq.“And take for witness two persons from among you, endued withjustice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah”. [Al-Qur’an 65:2]c) Four witnesses are required in case of charge against chaste women“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and producenot four witnesses (to support their allegatios) flog them with eightystripes; and reject their evidence even after: for such men are wickedtransgressors”[Al-Qur’an 24:4]2. Two female witnesses is equal to male witness only in financialtransactionIt is not true that two female witnesses are always considered as equal to onlyone male witness. It is true only in certain cases. There are about five versesin the Qur’an that mention witnesses, without specifying male or female. Thereis only one verse in the Qur’an, that says two female witnesses are equal to onemale witness. This verse is Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 282. This is thelongest verse in the Qur’an and deals with financial transactions. It says:“Oh! ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactionsinvolving future obligation in a fixed period of time reduce them towriting and get two witnesses out of your own men and if there are nottwo men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnessesso that if one of them errs the other can remind her.” [Al-Qur’an 2:282] 32 * For more Queries contact: webmaster@irf.net
  2. 2. ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION Spreading the Truth of Islam www.irf.net ANSWER TO NON-MUSLIMS’ COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM Authored by: Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim NaikThis verse of the Qur’an deals only with financial transactions. In such cases,it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take twowitnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you cannot findtwo men, then one man and two women would suffice.For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particularailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from twoqualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second optionwould be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBSdoctors.Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Islam expects men tobe the breadwin ners of their families. Since financial responsibility isshouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactionsas compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man andtwo women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. TheArabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’.Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. Thus financialtransactions constitute the only case in which two female witnesses are equalto one male witness.3. Two female witnesses equal to one male witness even in the caseof murderHowever, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can alsohave an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a womanis more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional condition she canget confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in cases of murder,two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases,one female witness is equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases, onefemale witness is equivalent to one male witness.4. Qur’an clearly specifies that one female witness equal to one malewitnessThere are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two femalewitnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. Thiscannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from SurahNoor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one malewitness:“And those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (insupport) no evidence but their own - their solitary evidence can bereceived.” [Al-Qur’an 24:6] 33 * For more Queries contact: webmaster@irf.net

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